Fallout from James Gunn’s firing from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continues as the entire production is now officially on hold. The Hollywood Reporter breaks the news that preproduction crew members have been summarily dismissed and are free to look for other work. Sources tell THR that Disney and Marvel need time to reorganize following the dismissal of Gunn, who found himself fired after offensive tweets that he posted years ago resurfaced, resulting in his termination.
Principal photography was to begin in either January or February of 2019. The film was in the early stages of crewing up and the plan was for full preproduction to kick into gear this fall, but Gunn’s firing (and the resulting tumult, which includes upset actors, fan backlash, and petitions to rehire Gunn) has upset the project’s schedule. Though many of Gunn’s supporters hoped that Disney would rehire Gunn in spite of his old tweets about rape and pedophilia, Disney announced last week that their decision stands and they are moving on without Gunn at the helm.
One source described the production hold as a temporary “regrouping” as Marvel and Disney search for a director to take on the third Guardians of the Galaxy film. “The timeline has been pushed out,” a source stated to THR. Rather than choose a fan-favorite replacement such as Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Joe and Anthony Russo (Avengers: Infinity War), or Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Disney is rumored to be searching for a lesser-known (and less busy) director to right the GotG Vol.3 ship. Joe Carnahan, director of The A-Team and the upcoming remake of The Raid, has posted a simpler solution on Twitter, which you can read below.
Disney, I have an instant fix for your GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3 issues.
REHIRE FUCKING @JamesGunn.
— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) August 25, 2018
The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has earned over $1.6 billion worldwide, and made household names out of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana. The actors, particularly Bautista, have vocally defended Gunn throughout this difficult time, releasing an official letter of support for their beleaguered director. Bautista questioned moving forward with the franchise without Gunn’s involvement, and Pratt recently reiterated his support in an interview with The Associated Press.
Disney has not commented on the production hold. They never set a release date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so your guess is as good as mine on when the crew will blast off on their next adventure.